Glucosamine and chondroitin for OA of the knee

leg with knee highlighted in red

Carl Gibson, chief executive of Complementary Medicines Australia has welcomed results from a new study which shows equivalent benefits of taking glucosamine and chondroitin for osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee as taking the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib (Celebrex).

The MOVES study included 606 patients with moderate-to-severe pain, and found that six months of treatment with glucosamine and chondroitin was associated with a 50.1% decrease in pain as measured on the Western Ontario and McMaster osteoarthritis index (WOMAC), compared with a 50.2% decrease among patients given Celebrex.

“Many Australians purchase glucosamine and/or chondroitin supplements to relieve joint pain, and in the hope that this will slow the rate of joint destruction and cartilage loss,” says Gibson.

“This new study adds to the increasing evidence in favour of the use of glucosamine and chondroitin in OA of the knee, which is a condition that continues to be a leading cause of years-lived-with- disability around the globe.

“Early last year, a team from the University of Sydney published results from the two-year, placebo-controlled Long-term Evaluation of Glucosamine Sulfate (LEGS) study, showing that daily supplementation with a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin may significantly reduce joint space narrowing in the knees.

“The Australian complementary medicine industry continues to invest in clinical trials, building on the data that shows the contribution complementary medicines can make to individual and community health.

“These clinical trial results highlight the importance of research and the importance of more government support for studies that look at the use of complementary medicines,” he says.

“As highlighted in the CMA’s pre-budget submission 2015/16, now is a pivotal time for support of research into the population health benefits of Australian complementary medicines.”

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